Stevie Nimmo Quartet, Oran Mor, Glasgow Oct02

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Stevie Nimmo Quartet, Oran Mor, Glasgow

 

Stevie Nimmo Quartet, Oran Mor, Glasgow

How to turn disaster into a huge win in one easy move. OK Stevie, time to write that book!

I hate to bring up a negative right at the start of a review but hopefully the positives will far outweigh this. I have spent the last two years watching and writing about Stevie and Alan Nimmo separately. I have done live and album reviews galore and watched the two brothers and bands vie for my attention and I have seen each gig outdo the last one. Do not get me wrong here, I love everything these boys do, I go way back with them and I will support and shout their praises as long as I have breath in my lungs but there is something very special about seeing these two local lads on the same stage. It was about three years ago in the very same venue I last saw them and as always they took my breath away.

As horrible as this sounds there was a bit of happiness when Stevie announced he had a bad accident on his(rather cheap) mountain bike and he had broken an arm. The happiness was around how he was going to rectify the situation by bringing in his younger brother to play guitar as he was on vocal rest from King King. I was already excited about this show as the last performance in another stunning old church in Glasgow was spellbinding but this latest news meant I knew this was going to be special…and I was not wrong.

As always with these two the patter flows right from the off as Stevie walked out to the packed crowd and said oh, it looks like you heard Alan was here tonight which anyone who has seen Stevie knows this is rubbish, his hometown gigs are always packed to the rafters.

Once the patter was done the magic came forth. It was surreal seeing Stevie without a guitar and Alan without a mic stand but what flowed tonight was pure class. There are many people out there who will say Stevie’s latest album “Sky Won’t Fall” is one of the best Blues/Rock albums released in the last 5 years and I cannot disagree, for me that and King Kings releases have dominated my blues playlists. The album is completely varied and a huge slice of blues heaven.

This is the second time the album has been promoted in this city so we get a huge chunk of the album played along with his usual smattering of classic covers which I have to admit got my eyes a bit wet. Leaving the covers for now Stevie away from his guitar put his heart and soul into songs like “Chains of hope”, Running on back to you” and “Change” which we heard was directed at the music business. For me it was brilliant to see the brothers have their tasks halved as sometimes you actually forget how talented they are so to see them focus on one thing meant you could soak in the atmosphere created. Stevie’s voice is chocolatey loveliness and although he really did struggle with his hands being without an instrument the vocals reaped wonders from it.

The same could be said with Alan as his focus was purely on that guitar and with just 8 days to learn the songs he was incredible…apart from the cover of Eric Clapton’s “Going Down” which Stevie taught him as he was going along, yes, the banter flowed as it always does and the magic shone brightly. With no mic Alan really got to show off his multitude of serious guitar faces whilst smiling the whole way through. Once again the song that stole the show for me was the cover of local legend Big George’s “The Storm”, a song I saw the sadly missed George do back in the day. A beautiful song that has the most incredible guitar solo woven through it…and where I let a tear flow at the way Alan played it. This was just pure bead brill as we say up here.

A lot of people have waited a long time to see these boys back together again, no less, their mother Jinty who you will always find at their shows with cheeks full to bursting with pride for her sons…and the thing is everyone here tonight feels the same, These are not just two blues heroes, they are our blues heroes and we love them.

Images and review Ritchie Birnie

Stevie Nimmo Quartet, Oran Mor, Glasgow

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